Overwhelmed.. I stopped for a week or two and don't know how to catch up

I have over 700 reviews to do, I’m used to about 100 at the most. Is there a way to reset my reviews but not reset my level?


Unfortunately, no, if you want to do that, you have to reset the level. But! 700 reviews is a pile that’s more than possible to come back from.

Just don’t do any more lessons until you get through the review pile to avoid adding more, and start chipping away at the pile. You DON’T want to do them all at once, however, because otherwise this will come back to haunt you in regular intervals as part of the SRS system.

What you should do is when you have time, just sit down and do a few reviews here and there, spread throughout the day, in similar batches to when you were keeping up with it (so if you were doing 50 reviews a session on average, do 50 reviews at a time that works best for you). If you were doing 100 reviews a day, just pick two separate times during a day and do 50, or 4 separate times and do 25. What’s important is that it’s in a normal interval.

If your accuracy is good, then you will be out of this in no time! Just remember to not do ANY new lessons until you have the reviews under control. After you have the reviews down to a manageable level per day, then you can start new lessons again.

If your accuracy is suffering a bit, then that’s the time when you should probably consider resetting. I know that can be a bit demoralizing, but the important thing to remember is that in the long-term, it could help you learn more effectively, which is the entire purpose, right?

For future, if you ever need to take a break for a week or two, you can put WaniKani into vacation mode, which essentially pauses the system exactly where you leave it, and you won’t come back to a pile of reviews.



About 2 weeks ago I was nearly at 600 reviews because I did not do it for a few days. So, I would do as many as I could in a set time. As soon as I finished I would set it to “vacation mode” until I was ready to come back later that day or the next day. I repeated this until I finally I got it down to 0 reviews. Now I am back to my regular number. It took me a few days to get it under control.


While that will prevent the done reviews from coming back before you’ve finished the current pile, the effect is roughly the same as doing all of them in one go… and they’ll come back in large batches.

The main thing is not to worry. After taking unplanned time off, you should expect to take double the time (in your case four weeks) to get back on track while doing your regular daily reviews (but no lessons). Just keep at it.


Wanikani shows how many reviews you’ll gain over a day. If you just set a goal of how much you want to take off each day and add it to that, you have the amount of reviews you need to do that day to progress. So if a given day you gain 100 reviews and you want to drop the number by 50, you need to do 150 reviews that day. If you then just decide how many review sessions you want to have that day, then you have the number of reviews you need per session. Of course after this, if you are able to do some reviews during breaks, then you just lowered the number of reviews you need to do the next session. Do this for a few days/weeks and you will reduce it back down to around normal levels

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Easiest way to catch up is to stop doing new lessons and do reviews in Anki Mode. You can knock out 200 reviews in an hour if you’re relatively slow.


Don’t worry mate, I recently came back after 2 years xD Had almost 900 to get through. I just had to brute force it, I set aside some time over the weekend, took regular breaks and before I knew it I’d managed to get through them all.

Just persist, keep at it and you’ll get through it alright! :slight_smile:


I had much less (over 300) but for me being level 5 that was a lot.

What I did was strictly only doing 10 at a time, as many hours a day as I could manage. I realised my learning up until that point was actually really weak but over the course of two weeks I got it back to zero and my Apprentice radicals/kanji/vocab dropped to 50, then I started learning again. I keep my Apprentice level below 100 so I feel like I actually make progress.

It is totally manageable but don’t burn yourself out!


I came back to level 15 after a break of two years. The pile was around a 1000 reviews, which was not that big considering the gap.
The reorder ultimate script has helped me greatly – I was chipping away level by level, slowly introducing higher levels and effectively keeping my count of apprentice items low. I don’t remember exactly, but it feels like I was done with the pile in about 2,5-3 weeks.

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I did 450 yesterday, it’s totally doable if you want to.

700 reviews is manageable. i just came back from a 1500 review pile after speedrunning WK for almost half a year.

you can brute-force it, but there are smarter ways to do it. the most essential tool i used was the Reorder Buttons userscript. with that, i could just continue doing reviews, and the SRS kept doing its thing.

if you do this, you’ll be back at 0 reviews in maybe 2 weeks, without having to do any more work than you’ve been doing normally.


I’d say that you should probably not think about it too much and knock out what you are comfortable with.

If you are good with 100 reviews a day, then stick to that. Sure, you will get some new reviews the next day so it won’t go from say… 700 to 600… But eventually it will work itself out over the course of a few days. The ones you really need to review will continue to appear frequently, while those you are comfortable with will appear less frequently. Eventually that pile will get reduced :smiley:

Like the first person said, just don’t pack on new lessons at the moment, focus on your reviews!


What I did when I came back after absence to a 1500+ pile was reorder by SRS stage and work from highest down until all you have left is apprentice items. Then switch back to your normal sorting method.

The logic here is that the higher SRS takes longer to come back to your queue whether you get it right or wrong, reducing your active review pile. The issue with doing a pile that large on shuffle (unless you knock it all out in a day) is that apprentice items come back quickly and can get lost in the pile, so when you do see them again you’ve forgotten it already and it gets knocked back a level and you’ve made little progress.

Alternatively you could focus the other way up, but you’ll probably need to relearn most of the apprentice items again as if they were lessons which tbh is a bit of a mental drain. I preferred seeing that review number decrease before tackling them.

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Just a suggestion that has worked well for me - I only start lessons if I have <90 items in Apprentice. And even then, I only take as many lessons that will keep my Apprentice still <90.

It has slowed my progress, but that’s fine - it keeps things very manageable and I feel like I’ve retained better this way, as I can’t start new material until I’m consistently keeping kanji/vocab out of Apprentice.


Well yes, the general suggestion is to keep apprentice under 100. This is specifically about addressing a review pile after a time away. In my case I was gone for the better part of a year.

vacation mode???

True, good point. Often when I’ve seen similar ‘overwhelmed’ posts, it’s usually ‘I did all of my lessons and now there are way too many reviews’. I figured that may have been part of the issue but could be wrong there obviously.

divide in batches of 150 each

in 2 days you finish.

i did it exactly the other way round, with the idea being that items waiting to be burned will still be okay in a week or two, but the apprentice items want to be reviewed asap.

but whatever works ^^

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Whatever gets our butts in a chair reviewing :laughing:

For me it’d been so long my apprentice and guru were a lost cause, but you’re right. If OP has only been gone a few weeks it might be better for them to try and salvage the lower ranked stuff first.

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